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Living in Brasilia

A comprehensive guide about living well in Brasilia

Brasilia is the federal capital of Brazil: its building are new and in good conditions, and the city is an administrative and commercial hub for the whole state. It looks very different from other Brazilian cities, but it is still fascinating and interesting. Check out more in our guide!

Need to move abroad? Organizing an international relocation is not something you should do on your own. As expats, we understand what you need, and offer the the essential services to help you move and live abroad easily. Contact us today to jump start your move, and begin the preparations with our free relocation checklist.

Life in Brasilia

Education in Brasilia

Education is free and mandatory in Brasilia for children up to the age of 14. The nine compulsory years of schooling are called Fundamental Education (or Ensino Fundamental), and are separated into Fundamental I and Fundamental II. In the state schools of Brasilia, all students must take an examination at the end of each of these levels. The exam determines whether a child may progress on to the next level; because of this, it is common to have students of varying ages in class together.

Private schools in Brasilia follow a European based structure of education, and a higher level of focus is placed on artistic and humanity classes. Many expat families choose to send their children to one of the city’s international schools. The most popular multinational institutions in Brasilia are the Brasilia International School, American School of Brasilia and the Swiss International School. These schools mostly teach in English and their facilities and teaching systems are of an extremely high standard.

Culture and Leisure

Brasilia is home to a selection of iconic sights and monuments. The pride of the city is the Catedral Metropolitana. This impressive piece of 1970s architecture consists of 16 curved white columns and a jaw-dropping stain glass interior. The entrance to the cathedral is surrounded by statues of the Four Disciples, which were designed by renowned sculptor Ceschiatti, as were the aluminum angels that hang from the cathedral ceiling.

Another must-see spot in Brasilia is the Palacio da Alvorada. Designed by Oscar Niemeyer; this building is the official presidential residence of Brazil, and makes for some incredible sightseeing. Lovers of nature will enjoy visiting the Itiquira Falls, which lie just north of the city. At 168 m high, these rocky falls are considered one of Brazil’s most picturesque destinations.

Safety and Security

Compared to other cities in Brazil, such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia is very safe. The city has a reputation for being an affluent, safe place to live and in the central district this is especially true. Expats should, however, be careful to avoid the ‘satellite cities’ that lie on the outskirts of Brasilia. These shanty towns have been built to accommodate laborers and workers; however, they have also attracted large numbers of criminals.

The most common crime is petty theft, such as pickpocketing. Con artists operate in crowded areas and target foreigners. Much less common but not unheard of in the satellite towns is ‘quicknapping’. This phenomenon describes a very fast kidnapping where the prisoner is taken and held to ransom for a very brief amount of time. Quicknapping is unique to Brazil and has emerged in recent years. Foreigners are especially at risk, so expats should take particular care to stay in safe areas. If an emergency should occur, the police will be fast to respond and can be reached on 194.

Do you want to relocate? If you have never moved abroad, the process will be overwhelming, and if you have, you know the burden that lies ahead. Whatever stage you are at, InterNations GO! can help you with a complete set of relocation services, such as home finding, school search, visa solutions, and even pet relocation. Our expert expat team is ready to get your relocation going, so why not jump-start your move abroad and contact us today? Best to start early!

Updated on: December 06, 2018
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